August 30, 2012

Rev3 Cedar Point course preview day

This is how far I am behind on my blog entries.  I did this race preview day type thing back on July 21st and I'm finally getting around to writing a little blip about it here.  So, here goes! 
I have never been up to the course at Rev3 before and from all of the reports I read and people that I talked to, there were a few things in common:
1. The course was windy
2. The bike course was really uncomfortably bumpy
3. The course was windy... (I mention that twice because it is very relevant)
So I wanted to go and check it out for myself.  Kim found, via the Cleveland Tri Club that Rev 3 was putting on this "course preview day"on like the Tuesday before the actual day. So I had a 6 hour ride to get done and we had a free weekend when we were still in temporary housing and took the opportunity to go up to Cleveland and stay with her aunt and uncle and check out this course. 
That morning we decided to try and go for a swim at the beach up in Cedar Point and the waves were crashing into the shore and BOY was it intense.  I got a little giddy because I kinda like swimming in rough water.  It's a challenge and I know if it's rough come race day I have a definite advantage over those weaker swimmers.  Kim and her friend Tiff stayed on the beach and wussed out as I was the only one who braved the chop.  It was fine once you got out past where the waves break and you timed everything with the rise and fall of the lake. 
After the swim, we got ready and they instructed who was to be in what group (A was 24mph+, B was 20-24mph and C was below that) and I hopped into a pace line at the A group, but quickly got shelled out the back.  The course was good, people told me it was all SUPER bumpy, but it's just chip seal.  The REAL factor in this race will be the wind.  We did 2 loops (most folks there only did one, but I ran into a guy and cycled with him from the Eleanor Rocks team named Chris who was really nice and from Michigan) and we both were looking to go long.  It's mainly just the chip seal styled pavement and for two long stretches it felt like you were in a headwind and the wind changes and drifts on you, so just be leery of that.  It seems to come from every direction on you. 
The course itself is mainly flat.  They say it has rollers, not-so-much.  This is just flat terrain with a few little blips in the radar screen.  My bike elevation chart looked like this:

And I marked the areas where the loops started because we didn't start at the start/finish, we met elsewhere and I tacked on some extra at the end to get to 6hrs.  The one first BIG hill is at the bottom of a downhill, you hit a 90 degree bend and it really scrubs your speed, because then you fly up into this climb that's substantial, but only last about 100m.  The other ones, I don't really remember, but might have been highway overpasses.  Nothing to write home about.  Just be sure to be in your small ring at the bottom of that hill, otherwise you'll tip over.
All in all the trip was good recognisance and I feel strongly about the bike course.  If the wind is light, this would be a good course to ride within yourself and still rip a fast bike split.  See you out there in 10 days amigos!  It's taper and race time. Cheers.

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